2.11.2011

Only: The Lonely?

I can remember a time when I imagined myself as the mother of a gaggle of kids.  I have always loved babies, and cannot think of a more precious gift than a child.  Four years ago, when Wyatt came to be, I continued to hold onto this idea of a plethora of apron-tuggers.  Fast forward to infantile mobility, toddler tantrums, and preschool sass, and let's just simplify the story and say that plans change.  Don't get me wrong, this ornery little red-headed angel has blessed my life beyond measure, and I find myself more and more in love with him every day, but I have eventually resigned myself to being the mother of an "only."  Dozens of good reasons not to have another child presented themselves early on in our journey of parenthood; sometimes Jason's rationale, sometimes my own.  At those times when I was not too keen on stopping at one, my heart was absolutely broken.  But then, slowly, I began to recognize what a blessing I have been given as a mother of an only. 

I get to be his playmate.  I get to nurture his sense of adventure.  I get to experience the firsts with him.  I get to be his best friend.  I get to be his defender, his confidant, his ally.  I get to love him like that.

Of course, motherhood of a solitary child presents some interesting and unique challenges, some of which I just named as blessings.  For example:  I am his playmate.  There is no, "go play with your brother!" in this house.  There is no sacred Mommy-time during which two or more children disappear into the backyard to play amongst themselves.  Sure, there are no squabbles between siblings, but guess what...there are plenty of head-butts between the boy and I to make up for those.  We have no one else to argue with but each other most days, and God thought it would be comical to make us exactly alike (He's up there, chuckling, right now).    There are days that I am completely, utterly overwhelmed with this task of raising ONE curious little boy into a God-fearing man.  I am in awe of my friends who have two or more kids.  I have no doubt that the heart doubles in size with each child so that ample love be available for the task; it is the ability to not lose your mind with the added responsibility that baffles and amazes me.  We're all given what we can handle; no more, no less.

I sometimes lament the chance to see Wyatt playing side by side with a chromosomally similar munchkin, but then reality sinks in:  there are no guarantees in life.  While a sibling may indeed provide a playmate and friend, it could just as easily be a source of contention or rivalry.  Cain and Abel, anyone?  When I think of all of the wonderful opportunities that my husband and I will be able to provide for our son simply because he is our only, I cringe at the thought of jeopardizing that for him.  Aside from all of our personal reasons, I look at my little boy and see his "bignormous" heart for other people.  He knows no strangers.  He wears his heart on his sleeve.  He easily loves to the fullest.  He begins every single day with a hop in his step and a smile on his face.  I don't think he's missing a thing.  And as God has revealed to me, neither am I.

While my son will never have a brother or sister to lean on during trials or to celebrate with during victories, he'll have me and his father, and no one on this earth loves him more. 

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